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How to Disable a Headphone Jack for PC and Phones

Have you ever been using a device and noticed it is stuck in headphones mode? There is a range of reasons this might happen, and it probably means that your audio will not play through in-built speakers, and you’re left in silence.

This is because your device thinks that headphones are still connected to the device. One of the quickest and easiest ways to overcome this issue is by disabling your headphone port. It is possible to do this on computers, smartphones, and tablet devices.

I have created this handy guide on How to Disable a Headphone Jack. So, you can continue enjoying audio through your built-in speakers again.

Why does your device become stuck in headphones mode?

This issue probably won’t enter your mind until you’re out and about, then suddenly, your device becomes stuck. You make sure the headphones are removed, press the play/pause button, and raise the volume. Still, nothing.

There isn’t anything that could help you available because you’re away from home, and you want to hear audio through the built-in speakers. So, why is there no sound through the built in speakers? There are a few different reasons, and these are the most common:

  • The audio port on your device is damaged, dirty, or blocked.
  • A headphone jack has snapped off inside the port.
  • You tend to leave the headphones plugged in most of the time.
  • Issues with system settings.

How To Disable the Audio Output on an Apple Mac Computer

How To Disable the Audio Output on an Apple Mac Computer

For anyone that owns an iMac or Macbook, having your computer stuck in headphones mode is usually an easy fix at any Apple Store. But you’ll need to make an appointment at the Genius Bar first.

What about in the meantime? Are you expected to sit there in silence and not listen to any audio? Of course not. Here are the steps to disabling your headphones or digital audio out port on a computer running Mac OS:

  • Launch the [Finder] on your Apple Mac computer.
  • On the menu bar, click [Go] and select [Utilities].
  • Double click the [Audio Midi Setup] icon.
  • On the sidebar, locate in the list, and select [Built-in Output].
  • Under the [Mute] section, check the boxes labeled [1] and [2]
  • Make sure that the [Master Out] box is unchecked.
  • Close the window to save the changes.

How to Disable the Audio Output on a Windows 10 Computer

There are several different ways to disable audio output on Windows. We will cover them all, starting with the most basic and progressing to slightly more advanced methods.

Adjust the sound output settings

By completing these steps, you are disabling the sound directed towards the audio output port. This should then, by default, direct the audio to your built-in speakers.

  • Hold the [Windows Key] and [S] key at the same time.
  • Type [settings] and open the Settings application.
  • Click on the [System] icon.
  • On the left-hand side, click on [Sound].
  • In the box underneath [Choose your output device], select the device plugged into the audio port.
  • Then click on [Device properties] underneath.
  • Check the box labeled [Disable].
  • Click back on the [Sound] tab again on the left-hand side.
  • On the right side, click [Manage sound devices].
  • Locate the device in the audio port and click the [Disable] button.

Use the Device Manager

Use the Device Manager

While adjusting the sound output settings to disable is like turning it off at the switch; disabling through the device manager is like unplugging it completely. If the first option didn’t work, this is worth a try:

  • Hold the [Windows Key] and [S] key at the same time.
  • Type [device manager] and open the device manager program.
  • Look through the list and expand the [Audio inputs and outputs] tab.
  • Locate the output device under this tab, right-click and select [Disable device].

Windows Registry Editor

If trying this method, please make sure you follow these steps EXACTLY. Making any incorrect changes can cause major problems on your computer. If you are not confident, then do not proceed with this method:

  • Press the [Windows Key] and [R] key at the same time.
  • Type [regedit] and then click [OK].
  • In the address bar at the top, copy and paste this location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\MMDevices\Audio\Render
  • After ensuring the address is exactly correct, press the [Enter] key.
  • On the left-hand side, expand the [Render] directory.
  • Open the [Properties] folder on every GUID and search for the output device you wish to disable. An example of a GUID is: {106817ea-5798-4f12-b707-73dfd781ac23}
  • Once you have located which GUID the output device is in, click on the [GUID root folder] and then on the right-hand side [DeviceState] to edit it.
  • Under [Value data], click on the box and edit the value from [1] to [10000001], and this will disable it.

Realtek HD Audio Manager

Windows 10 default hardware is called Realtek HD Audio. If you have upgraded your sound hardware, you will need to complete some similar steps using that software instead. These steps should cover most users, though:

  • Open the System Tray in the lower right corner of the taskbar by clicking on the [^].
  • Click on the [Realtek HD Audio Manager] icon. If you’re unsure, hover the mouse over each icon, and the name will appear.
  • In the lower right corner of the window for the Realtek HD Audio Manager, click on the [Connector settings] button that looks like a wrench.
  • When the Connector settings window opens, click the [Disable front panel jack detection] toggle switch and make sure it’s in the [Off] position.

Disabling Audio Output on a Smartphone or Tablet

Disabling Audio Output on a Smartphone or Tablet

It doesn’t matter if you have an iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphone or tablet. The methods used here will all be the same. Due to neither iOS nor Android OS offering any built-in settings for how to disable a headphone jack, this can only be achieved using an App. Currently, there are only Apps available for Android and nothing for iOS.

Have you tried turning it off and on again?

Before taking any unnecessary steps, you should always try the most basic and simple first. Plug and unplug your headphones a few times and see if anything improves. Also, try turning your device off, waiting at least 30 seconds, then turn it back on again. You’ll be surprised how often something as simple as this works.

Clean the headphone port

Your smartphone or tablet is designed to be portable. They are often exposed to lots of tiny pieces of dirt and dust that can easily build up inside the port. As a result, the device thinks headphones are connected when they are not.

  • Grab some cotton tips and some rubbing alcohol, such as the excellent and affordable Amazon Brand – Solimo 99% Isopropyl Alcohol For Technical Use.
  • Pull any excess cotton off the cotton tip so it will fit inside the port.
  • Swab inside the port gently.
  • Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol on the cotton tip and swab the port again.
  • Plug in your headphones and gently twist the jack, then remove it again.

Install an App for Android users

Unfortunately, there aren’t currently any Apps available for iPhone or iPad. And if none of the other methods have worked, you will need to make an appointment at the Genius Bar. For Android users, you can try one of these Apps from the Google Play Store.

Earphone Mode Off

One of the easiest fixes is to download “Earphone Mode Off” from the Google Play store. It’s an incredibly simple App. There is even the option to play a test sound to ensure it is working correctly before leaving the App.

Disable Headphone (Disable Speaker)

This App boasts one of the most simple and minimalist designs there is. You can leave your headphones plugged in and direct the audio to your device’s built-in speaker. It also includes Widget support for added simplicity and accessibility.

Lesser AudioSwitch

Using the “Lesser AudioSwitch” App is slightly different from the other Apps, as it gives you more options. It’s possible to force the audio to any other output, including headphones, speakers, USB, or Bluetooth. You can additionally control microphone functions.

Have You Tried using Bluetooth Headphones?

One sure way to avoid issues with headphones jacks it to go wireless. Bluetooth headphones offer convenience and won’t cause any of the connection problems that wired headphones too often do.

So, check out our in-depth Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless Review, our Sennheiser PXC 550-II Review, our Shure Aonic 50 Review, our HyperX Cloud Mix Rose Gold Review, and our Jabra Move Style Edition Review for more amazing items you can buy in 2021.

You may also like our comprehensive Marshall Major 3 Bluetooth Wireless Review, our Skullcandy Crusher Evo Wireless Over-Ear Headphones Review, our Sony WH-XB900N Review, our Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 Review, and our Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Review for even more awesome headphones currently on the market.

How to Disable a Headphone Jack – Final Thoughts

Hopefully, one of these methods has helped you to either disable or get that headphone jack working again on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. For a computer or Android device, even if a jack is stuck in the port, it is still possible to enjoy audio.

However, iPhone and iPad users will need a visit to the Apple Store. As you can probably tell by this guide, there are multiple options available when an issue occurs. We aim to offer clear and easy-to-follow instructions, growing your confidence in navigating your devices.

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Corey Hoffman

Corey is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands over the years, some good, some not so good. He has also written countless songs and recorded five albums in professional studios across America. Today he is a hobby musician but still loves the guitar after over 15 years of playing.

He considers his writing as a way to share what he has learned over the decades with younger generations ad always can't wait to get his hands on the latest gear.

He lives just outside New York with his wife Barbara and their two German Shepherds, Ziggy and Iggy.

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